Price tag for preventing carp infestation risesMillions more dollars will be spent this year on trying to keep Asian Carp and other aquatic invasive species from moving between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Millions more dollars will be spent this year on trying to keep Asian Carp and other aquatic invasive species from moving between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins. Even bigger spending decisions are nearing, however.
An electronic barrier in a Chicago canal is just one of several short-term attempts in place to reduce travel of unwanted species betwen the Mississippi and the Great Lakes. More politicians are talking about permanently separating the two Basins in the Chicago area, a long-term project with a huge pricetag. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett chairs a group of mayors along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence seaway. Barrett told a Detroit public television forum that the main sticking point is: Who'd pay the basin separation bill?
“The ramifications go beyond Chicago, but Chicago's gonna have to play a big part in this, so I think that's the biggest challenge,” he said.
Other Great Lakes officials say they'd like to see the Army Corps of Engineers move faster on its basin separation study. Phil Moy, of the Wisconsin Sea Grant Program, wants a federally-led Asian carp coordinating committee to allow more input from academics and business leaders, “as a consultant or a peer-review entity. The feds sometimes operate in a black box.”
Moy says when various parties work together there can be success. He cites cooperation that's led to a sharp drop in the rate of new invasive species coming into the Great Lakes in the last six years.